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Big plays from Looney loom large as Rampart tops Lewis-Palmer
Brad Looney knew this was a must-win game for his Rampart football team, and each time the Rams needed a boost the senior was there to make a big play.
Looney scored on each side of the ball Thursday night to help his team to its first win of the season 33-15 over Lewis-Palmer at District 20 Stadium.
“Brad is a difference maker for us and we’re excited to have him,” Rampart coach JJ Owens said. “Tonight his leadership and unselfishness on the sideline was unbelievable.”
After a disastrous first quarter for the Rams (1-2), which included two three-and-outs, a fumble and a safety after a botched punt attempt near the end zone, it was 8-0 Lewis-Palmer.
Enter Looney, who would catch a 16-yard touchdown pass from Travis Knoche, which cut the lead to 8-6 after an unsuccessful 2-point conversion.
The good feeling didn’t last long for Rampart, as Nathan Conner found Joe Dell for a 65-yard touchdown on the first play following the ensuing kickoff to make it 15-6.
Despite two costly fumbles that killed drives, and a turnover on downs, Lewis-Palmer led 15-9 at the half. Conner had already totaled 213 yards passing in the first half, but Looney would have his number in the second.
“This was a must-win game for us, especially with it being my senior year every game is a must-win for me,” said Rampart running back Elijah Bennett, who ran for 147 yards and a touchdown.
Rampart took over at the 50 after Lewis-Palmer’s third lost fumble of the game to start the second half, and on the next play Knoche found Addison Miller for a 50-yard touchdown pass to give Rampart its first lead of the game at 16-15.
On the next possession, Looney, who also plays cornerback on defense, did his best Bronco Tracy Porter impression and perfectly jumped an out route for a pick six to give Rampart a 23-15 lead and all the momentum. Lewis-Palmer would never recover.
“Everybody on this team is a big-play guy and we all kept each other going in the second half,” said Looney, who also caught a long pass on Rampart’s last scoring possession to make it 33-15. “I saw my opportunity and ran away with it.”
The bright spot for the 3A Rangers (1-2) was the passing game. Conner threw for 300 yards and Lewis-Palmer had two receivers go over the century mark in receiving yards in Dell and Sean Grundman.
“I thought our offensive line stepped up and gave me great protection tonight; I just made one mistake and it cost us,” Conner said of the Looney pick. “But I thought we improved and we need to keep throwing it well and not turn it over so much.”